Introduction: South Korean Politics after Transitions

JeongHun Han, Ramon Pacheco Pardo, Youngho Cho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


South Korea is best known for its economic development, democratic consolidation, proactive civil society, and, more recently, for its emergence as a cultural powerhouse. The country has experienced various transitions including political, democratic, economic, societal, and demographic and, thus, its contemporary politics are considerably different from its traditional patterns through the process of responding to these transitions. Overall, South Korea and its politics are far distant from the outdated images and grand perspectives associated with them, which tended to underappreciate the complex and diversified nature of South Korean politics. By critically evaluating the contemporary politics of South Korea in their areas of expertise, contributors to this handbook point out that South Korean politics have been moving in the direction of introducing the principle of checks and balances over the South Korean presidential system. Different groups, including political parties and civil society, have diverse channels to make their voices heard. Strong state-led developmentalism has been replaced by a thriving market-driven economy with heterogenous demands. Instances and practices of international cooperation and mutual learning have eroded the unity of political elites, now divided into competing groups with different reference points behind their policy orientations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of South Korean Politics
EditorsJeongHun Han, Ramon Pacheco Pardo, Young Cho
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780192894045
ISBN (Print)9780192894045
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2023

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks
PublisherOxford University Press


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